Thursday, May 15, 2008

European Union may act over corporate lobbying

Today PR Week is reporting of possible action by the European Union for greater transparency on businesses lobbying it.

Baby Milk Action is given some of the credit for this. See:


The move follows intensive campaigning by health interest group Baby Milk Action, which alleges that food giant Nestlé has taken advantage of unclear lobbying and marketing codes to ‘sweet talk policy makers'.

‘Governments are too heavily influenced by Nestlé,' said Baby Milk Action policy director Patti Rundall.

In the UK, Nestlé is acc­used of targeting the Government with ‘sponsorship and free trips', to promote its powdered baby milk formula. Nestlé denied this. A spokeswoman said: ‘We are totally committed to the protection and promotion of breastfeeding.'

However, Nestlé was this week discovered to have paid for a trip to South Africa by Labour MP Rosie Cooper.

That discovery was reported by the Independent on Sunday, as I mentioned yesterday. See:

It remains to be seen whether the European Union will introduce measures such as logging the contacts they have with business lobbyists.

A watchdog campaigning organisation, called Corporate European Observatory (CEO), tracks the influence of companies such as Nestlé on policy makers at the EU. See:

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